About Esther Lee
Huijae (Esther) Lee is a South Korean pianist from Cheongju and has won numerous competitions in Korea including the Young Soloists Competition and the Min Classical Music Competition in 2018. Furthermore, she won Second Prize at the 22nd Korean Chamber Orchestra Competition in 2021 and received an honorable mention in the Krannert Debut Artist Competition in 2022. Additionally, Esther Lee was named the Illinois State MTNA Young Artist Piano Performance Competition winner and also selected as an alternate for the MTNA East Central Division Competition. Most recently, she has been named the Krannert Debut Artist for 2023.
She is actively performing as a soloist and an accompanist through various solo recitals, chamber recitals, and private concerts in the USA and South Korea. Moreover, her outstanding academic achievements include graduating as valedictorian from Chungbuk Arts High School and winning the Academic Award, graduating Cum Laude from Hanyang University, and receiving the Graduate Tuition Award from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Ms. Lee is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Dr. Rochelle Sennet at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is a recipient of the Ross Fellowship and State Fellowship and holds a piano lesson instructor position for the Illinois Community Music Academy. In addition, she takes regular masterclasses from Dr. Ian Hobson since 2021 and studied piano pedagogy as her cognate under Dr. Christos Tsitsaros. She has also played in masterclasses wit numerous musicians such as Awadagin Pratt, Chong-Pil Im, and Jae-hyuck Cho, among many others. Her previous teachers include Dr. Dai Uk Lee, Prof. Edward Auer, Dr. Saekyung Park, Prof. Sunghee Huh, and Prof. Yonsoo Rhee.
Prior to her piano instructor position for the Piano Laboratory Program at the University of Illinois, she held an accompanist position at Illinois Summer Youth Music and a keyboardist position at University Baptist Church – Champaign and Sangdang International Church. She also worked as a private piano teacher for over seven years.